I lived in Los Angeles when Martin Luther King was assassinated. In the weeks leading up to the assassination I was canvassing for Robert F. Kennedy in the Watts area of Los Angeles. People were very receptive to RFK in the African American communities of Los Angeles. We were very nervous after the assassination but oddly enough Los Angeles did not have riots. We watched on television as the rest of the country rioted. LA was still recovering from the Watts Riots on 1965.
Less than two months later Robert Kennedy was assassinated and the Civil Rights Movement lost two of its leaders within 60 days.
Last year we went to Memphis and paid our respects to Martin Luther King. A trip ever American should make.
Today is a different sort of holiday. It is of course a celebration of the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr but it is hard to celebrate his life without feeling sorrow for the way his life ended. Visiting the National Civil Rights Museum this year was eye opening for me. Even though I have been alive for a lot of the civil rights movement it was an emotional visit.
So if you can’t get there in person, you can spend a few minutes of their web site learning something new and maybe planning for a future visit. Enjoy your day off but spend a moment or two acknowledging the life of a great American.
If you have only one thing to do in Memphis it should be to visit the National Civil Rights Museum . Even though I have lived through a lot of The Civil Rights Movement I found this museum to be highly informative and an emotional experience.
You can easily spend the whole day there. There are many exhibits and interactive features. It is highly emotional and moving. After three hours we were drained. I don’t know if it was planning but across the street is the Blues Hall of Fame. We found it to be the perfect palette cleanser after our emotional upheaval. We sat in the listening booth and saw great performances that eased our souls.
In spite of the fact that the population of Memphis is 62% African American it wasn’t until 2017 that Civil War statues were removed from the city. This mural expressing the horrors of lynching is near the National Civil Rights Museum. It is a grim reminder that the Civil War was not the end of racial hatred in the USA.
I love watching street artists. I am always amazed by a number of things. One is that they can make something so complex and not be distracted by people staring and walking around. Or distracted by noise, dogs, little kids, the wind and a host of other things. This guy was particularly amazing because one slip of that chisel and his foot is chopped liver. I didn’t have the nerve to ask him if that had ever happened. This was shot on the street in Lahaina in Maui County Hawaii.